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North Korea: CSW welcomes support of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for international inquiry
ICC Note: For decades, the North Korean regime has ruled with complete control over its approximately 20 million citizens. They are deprived of virtually all types of even the most fundamental human rights, including the freedom to choose any religion whatsoever. The government maintains a policy of imprisoning up to three generations of one family for any number of crimes, including practicing Christianity.
01/15/2013 North Korea (CSW) – UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navanethem Pillay, yesterday called for an international inquiry into serious human rights violations in North Korea, stressing that concerns about the country’s nuclear programme must not be allowed to overshadow the “deplorable” human rights situation of its people.
North Korea is one of the world’s worst human rights violators. There is no freedom of speech, assembly, movement, press, conscience or religion. No dissent is tolerated at all, and the regime controls the people through an extensive system of surveillance and propaganda. An estimated 200,000 people are detained in an extensive system of prison camps. Hundreds of thousands of prisoners have died due to starvation, inhumane living conditions or execution, and many more endure shocking torture and regular beatings. Whole families are jailed for the perceived political crimes of a relative, under a policy of ‘guilt by association’ that inflicts punishment on up to three generations.
In his most recent annual report, the UN Special Rapporteur for Human Rights in North Korea described the government’s human rights abuses as “egregious” and recommended the establishment of “a more detailed mechanism of inquiry.” The US government was also asked to support an international inquiry in December 2012, in a letter written by Edward Royce, Chairman of the US House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee.

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